A kinematic FE limit analysis model for thick English bond masonry walls

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Two-wythes masonry walls arranged in English bond texture were often used in the past as bearing panels in seismic area. On the other hand, earthquake surveys have demonstrated that masonry strength under horizontal actions is usually insufficient, causing premature collapses of masonry buildings, often ascribed to out-of-plane actions. Furthermore, many codes of practice impose for new brickwork walls a minimal slenderness, which for instance is fixed by the Italian O.P.C.M. 3431 equal to 12 for artificial bricks and 10 for natural blocks masonry. For the above reasons, the analysis at failure of English bond brickwork walls under out-of-plane actions is a topic that deserves consideration, despite the fact that almost the totality of the studies of masonry at failure is devoted to running bond arrangements. Furthermore, it must be noted that an approach based on the analysis of running bond texture - in comparison with English bond pattern - is not suitable for the investigation of the behavior of bearing panels. In this framework, in the present paper, a Reissner-Mindlin kinematic limit analysis approach is presented for the derivation of the macroscopic failure surfaces of two-wythes masonry arranged in English bond texture. In particular, the behavior of a 3D system constituted by infinitely resistant bricks connected by joints reduced to interfaces with frictional behavior and limited tensile/compressive strength is identified with a 2D Reissner-Mindlin plate. In this way, assuming both an associated flow rule for the constituent materials and a finite subclass of possible deformation modes, an upper bound approximation of macroscopic English bond masonry failure surfaces is obtained as a function of macroscopic bending moments, torsion and shear forces. Several examples of technical relevance are treated both at a cell level and at a structural level, addressing the differences in terms of collapse loads and failure surfaces due to different textures and constituent laws for joints. Finally, two meaningful structural examples consisting of a panel in cylindrical flexion and a masonry slab constrained at three edges and out-of-plane loaded are discussed. A detailed comparison in terms of deformed shapes at collapse and failure loads between a 2D FE Reissner-Mindlin limit analysis approach and a full 3D heterogeneous FE model shows the reliability of the results obtained using the kinematic identification approach proposed. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.




Cecchi, A., & Milani, G. (2008). A kinematic FE limit analysis model for thick English bond masonry walls. International Journal of Solids and Structures, 45(5), 1302–1331. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2007.09.019

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